Egyptian prisoners’ lives at risk
Amnesty international have confirmed in an investigative report that Egyptian officials’ subject political prisoners to torture and cruel inhuman living conditions while denying them basic health care as a form of punishment
According to Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director “Prison officials show utter disregard for the lives and wellbeing of prisoners crammed into the country’s overcrowded prisons and largely ignore their health needs. They leave it to the prisoners’ families to provide them with medication, food, and cash to buy basics like soap and inflict additional suffering by denying them adequate medical treatment or timely transfer to hospitals,”
He went on to say “It is deplorable that the Egyptian authorities are seeking to intimidate and torment human rights defenders, politicians, activists and other actual or perceived opponents by denying them health care. When the denial causes severe pain or suffering and is a deliberate act for the purpose of punishment, it constitutes torture.”
16 Prisons monitored by amnesty, it was established that prisoners were subjected to cruel and inhuman conditions of detention that severely threatened their health. Detainees described being squashed and overcrowded in unventilated, hot cells with substandard sanitation with guards denying them clothes and bedding as well as food and items for personal hygiene.
Philip Luther in his findings stated that the Egyptian authorities could be taking instructions from the NSA “There is evidence that prison authorities, in some cases citing instructions from the National Security Agency (NSA), target certain prisoners to punish them for their perceived opposition to or criticism of the government”
Punishments included prolonged detention in solitary confinement for 24 hours a day with little to no food or water, no family visits or communications with the outside world, and continuous psychological torture.